Monday, May 05, 2008

Iron Man for Nintendo DS - A Game Review

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Iron Man for the Nintendo DS has been great experience so far, and while I'm playing to unlock the "One Man Army" mode, which I think will get you to blow up more stuff compared to the story mode, the story mode seems to be intriguing on its own. For one, there is that research points thing and secondly, each level is expansive, with multiple objectives and a boss fight of sorts at the end.

Lets talk about the levels first. The levels are so big I have trouble finishing them in a single casual sitting of 5 minutes. Going along with the expansive levels are the rather nice graphics as well. The textures may look a little basic, but hey, it's on DS, not the PSP.

Gameplay is a mixed bag here, but its not necessarily a bad thing. The first level will have you playing a little like Tomb Raider as you fight your way out with the first version of the Iron Man suit. The second level however, transforms into a shmup, as you get to fly around in the latest Iron Man suit, shooting repulsor beams and firing the occasional rocket or unibeam and even release an EM pulse.

You'll require the use of both buttons and the touch screen in order to play. Use the touch screen to aim and fire repulsor beams/flamethrower, or to shoot a unibeam. The touch screen also serves as a guide with arrows pointing to the next objective.

I don't think it would be hard to add a mini-map, like the one found in football games, with dots representing enemies, buildings, powerups and the ilk, on the touch screen, but no such think here. Come on, the levels are big and it's an Iron Man game... high tech and all that jazz.. a mini map would definitely help.

Remember that I mentioned Research Points? Iron Man for the Nintendo DS displays a little more depth compared to other super hero games on the same platform by allowing you to go all RPG on it.

You can spend Research Points to upgrade your Iron Man suit (better shields, repulsor beams, upgraded rockets, etc etc), which you get to pilot from level 2 onwards, but you'll have to destroy ALOT of enemies (and buildings) to obtain them points. Whatever happened to good old (but boring) R&D.

A Story Mode is nothing without a story and Iron Man tells its "cutscenes" in the form of stills with shots from the movie as well as stylize comic book art. Apparent Robert Downey Jr. reprises his character from the movie by lending his voice for the game. And speaking of sound, it's largely forgettable, so don't aim for a sonic experience.

Iron Man has a pretty solid outing on the Nintendo DS, with interesting gameplay and RPG elements and is available at Play-Asia (click here for purchase details).